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Sam Winnall stars as Sheffield Wednesday Under-23s beat Crewe Alexandra

Sam Hutchinson made his return to action today
Sam Hutchinson made his return to action today

Sam Winnall marked his return to action after a long injury lay-off in style with a lovely goal as Sheffield Wednesday's Under-23s edged out Crewe Alexandra.

The centre-forward, who has been on the sidelines since suffering a serious knee injury  while on loan at Derby County last February, swept home Jack Stobbs' fine cross in the 28th minute to help the Owls return to winning ways.

Winnall nearly bagged a second on the stroke of half-time but his left foot piledriver from the edge of the penalty area was tipped on to the post by Dave Richards. Winnall, withdrawn at half-time, produced a lively performance.

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Things could have been different had Joe Wildsmith not produced a series of excellent saves to thwart Connor Heath, Joshua Lundstram and Malachi Linton in an entertaining opening 45 minutes at Hillsborough.

Full-back Ben Hughes also came to the hosts' rescue, nodding Lundstram's header off the line as Crewe caused problems.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium after the break, with Wednesday midfielder Liam Shaw dragging an effort wide and shooting over when well-placed. 

The closest the Owls came to adding a second was through Conor Grant in the dying minutes when his shot clipped the post following good approach play by substitute Eyad Hammoud and Jordan Lonchar.  

Sam Hutchinson played over an hour while defender Morgan Fox also featured as the Owls' development squad claimed their first win in four outings in the Professional Development League 2.

Owls: Wildsmith; Hughes, O’Grady, Hutchinson (Clarke 61), Fox; Kirby, Shaw (Waldock 81), Grant; Stobbs, Lonchar, Winnall (Hammoud HT). Substitutes: McCulloch, Brennan.